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James Jerome Hill played a pivotal role in the development of the entire Northwest. With the completion of the Great Northern Railway in 1893, his influence rapidly spread from the Upper Midwest to the Pacific Coast. By 1901 he had organized the Northern Securities Company to consolidate his former rivals, the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, with his own Great Northern. Although it enjoyed only a brief existence, the Northern Securities Company was the predecessor of the present-day Burlington Northern. The James Jerome Hill Papers are located in the James Jerome Hill Reference Library, which he and his heirs established in St. Paul, Minnesota. This microfilm collection contains Hill_s most substantive outgoing correspondence from 1866 to 1916_a rich source of information for researchers interested in the history of business, transportation, settlement, Indian affairs, immigration, philanthropy, and many other subjects. The collection is remarkably well preserved and comprehensive. Hill wrote constantly, inquiring about railroading, markets, politics, colonization and settlement, and a host of other matters. These papers are among the most complete business and private papers of any major American industrialist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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